Adolescent Mother's Experience of Parenting One Year after Delivery

Thursday, 25 July 2013: 3:15 PM

Josephine M. DeVito, PhD, RN
Family Nursing, Seton Hall University College of Nursing, South Orange, NJ

Learning Objective 1: The participants will be able to describe the lived experience of adolescent mother's one year after the delivery of their newborn.

Learning Objective 2: The participants will be able to understand the empirical and theoretical research on adolescent parenting.

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to describe the lived experience of parenting for adolescent mothers one year after the birth of their child.

Methods: This is a qualitative nursing research study using a phenomenology design.  Focus groups, interviews, and follow up questionnaries were used to obtain the data.  This study investigated the question, "What is the lived experience of 'being a mother' and a 'parent' for adolesecnt mothers 12 months after the delivery of their child?"  A sample of 17 adolescent mothers from a post partum clinic participated and completed the study. Ages of the adolescent mothers ranged from 13 to 19 years of age.

Results: This study was completed in 3 years when data saturation was obtained.  The method for data analysis was developed by Colaizzi (1978). The themes that emerged were the following: 1. The struggle to be a "good" parent, 2. "Learning" everyday, 3. "Caring" about my child, and 4. Being "me" is important. The adolescent mothers in this study wanted to have their voices heard and listened to the concerns of the other mothers in the group. The contributions made in the focus groups were sincere and intense at times as they participated willingly. 

Conclusion: The adolescent mothers in this study were able to recognize what they needed, such as ongoing support, guidance, and education. They suggestioned it would be helpful to have a personal mentor, more support groups for socialization, ongoing education on childhood developmental issues, and programs for health promotion.